How to choose the best champagnes for the festive season
Francoise Peretti, director of the UK’s Champagne Bureau shares her tips on choosing the right champagne styles for your festive occasions
As the festive season commences, it is no surprise that as the celebratory drink par excellence, champagne continues to reign supreme in our country. Here are my champagne style tips to ensure you pick the right one for your festivities.
Best champagne for the office party
The Christmas office party brings all personality types together, so it may seem like a tricky task to choose a style that will please everyone. Brut NV is a fail safe. The ‘flagship’ cuvée of each champagne house, Brut NV is the ultimate ‘party style’ and can be served throughout the evening. Easy if you are the party planner!
Best for Christmas dinner
Start your evening with a glass of Blanc de Blancs champagne; bright and floral, this vivacious style is a brilliant way to get the conversation flowing and pairs wonderfully with seafood canapes – from smoked salmon blinis, to goat cheese to seafood or prawn cocktail.
Surprise your guests during the meal with an exclusive vintage. The more complex nature of vintage champagne means it can compete and complement the powerful festive flavours of a Christmas dinner, such as slow white roasted meats and gravies.
Best with Boxing Day leftovers
The day after the big feast, bubble and squeak and cold meat will likely make their appearance on your table. In true hair-of-the-dog style, pair these with a lovely Blanc de Noirs, which is white champagne made exclusively from black grapes – Pinot Noir and Meunier. The use of black grapes means that Blanc de Noirs is full-bodied and complements poultry, pork and other rich foods well.
Best for New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to put on a show and up the ante. To really impress your guests, I recommend choosing a bigger bottle size. A vintage champagne in magnums (equivalent to two 75cl bottles), or jeroboams (equivalent to four bottles) are ideal to create some drama and make this a night to remember, particularly if the party is quite large and you will be providing that quantity of wine in smaller bottles anyway.